• What do you call other people with cancer? I affectionately call us The Infected.

    Asked by shhwee on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    What do you call other people with cancer? I affectionately call us The Infected.

    35 Answers from the Community

    35 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I call all of us brothers and sisters, members of a club we never applied to, but are members anyway, like it or not. But, as long as your still breathing I call you a SURVIVOR!

      over 4 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      Infected implies we have a contagious disease. They say Infected on zombie movies and movies where there is a virus spreading with no hope for survival.

      Is there a need to label your friends who have cancer versus your friends who don't? If so, i'd go with something a little more upbeat...

      Fellow fighter, cancer queens (or kings), the lucky ones (because we know whats really important in life now)... something like that.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      ...How about cancer crusaders?

      over 4 years ago
    • RebeccaLynn25's Avatar

      We are fighters! When I think of cancer, I always think of boxing gloves.

      over 4 years ago
    • PLB12762's Avatar

      How about fellow warriors or better yet, fellow SURVIVORS!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • KathyB's Avatar

      I agree with all the posts here, we are not infected, nor are we victims, I wish it could be that simple, we are warriors, fighters, survivors, brothers and sisters, club members, the gifted, but not the infected. We're not on some island, a colony if you will of infections. My friend and I are playing with some ideas about what we do call ourselves besides life friends. Lifers? We need to be kind to ourselves and those who are fighting along side of us.

      over 4 years ago
    • ttisme's Avatar

      My chemo buddy introduced me as her travel companion, to a family member that was new to the treatment center! Thought that was nice, since we are taking a journey together!

      over 4 years ago
    • Keephopealive's Avatar

      SURVIVORS! Fighters is good too. Someone said the min. we are diagnosed we are survivors and my first round of cancer I said not until I had my surgery, chemo,etc and cancer was gone was I a survivor but since diagnosed again (12 years later) with cancer and ongoing treatment I now say I am a survivor, cancer is still here but we are fighting to get rid of it and I am stil surviving!

      over 4 years ago
    • Cath1953's Avatar

      shwee a SURVIVOR of course.

      over 4 years ago
    • shhwee's Avatar

      I did say 'affectionately'. Sorry, but I enjoy a little satire humor in the presence of bad circumstance.

      over 4 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      I refer to us as members of a club with the worst initiation rites imaginable (or unimaginable, as the case may be!)

      over 4 years ago
    • mamajltc's Avatar

      My husband has been in treatment for 2 1/2 years. Whenever it comes up (and it has recently..my daughter is doing Relay, in honor of her dad who is..."fighting the fight"...so I go with fighters...but this is only one thing he does..who is he...an incredible man, dad, husband, friend...
      So if it comes up, I say he is "my hero, who is fighting the fight."

      over 4 years ago
    • whirl's Avatar

      I look at having cancer slightly different than the above answers. I look at like if I had diabetes, high blood pressue, etc. Some are on medicine to control the entity, some just monitor it by periodical check ups, and some I am sad to say lose the battle.
      I am uncomfortable with being called the "infected". We know factors that increase the likelihood of getting cancer, but the real cause is still unknown.

      over 4 years ago
    • Fusionera's Avatar

      I definitely categorize myself as a survivor, but jokingly as a professional cancer patient because I have had 3 recurrences so far in the 17 years I've been fighting this and I am currently in chemotherapy treatments. Brain surgery and chemotherapy as a hobby is not something I can easily put on a professional resume, as discussion-provoking as it may be. Healing from this disease is, for whatever it's worth, my life right now. I am honing my survivor skills.

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Hmmm - I'm just Lee, who happens to have a cancer diagnosis in my past... I'm a mom, professor, bike racer (I hope - we'll see how well I recover from treatment), friend, bad-XXX, pain in the XXX, and more.... oh yes, and a cancer survivor or patient or whatever.

      At the end of the day, I am Lee Penn... And my friend John, who just finished treatment for Lymphoma take II, is John. And my friend Garrick is Garrick... etc...

      I guess I say, forget the labels...

      However, at the end of the day, I did change my blog description from cancer patient to cancer survivor based on feedback from many of my friends... I asked them - how did they view me? The overwhelming answer was - LEE! The secondary answer was SURVIVOR....

      Infected? Even affectionately, I would not like this. Kids already struggle so with understanding what the heck is going on, many of them asking if they can "catch" it. If my child overheard that affectionate adjective, he'd obsess over it because he is, as he should be, in a very literal stage of development.

      Kind of like the cheese touch, which he absolutely obsessed over after reading the book and again after seeing the movie.... He was really worried about getting it, even though we told him again and again that it was pretend... fiction... not possible...

      So, at the end of the day, I think I'd prefer a different bit of affection - like - Hey Lee - awesome to see you !!!! hug hug.... PS - I like hugs. PPS - my hair is growing back and is ridiculously soft... and I like it when people touch it (after asking)....

      over 4 years ago
    • susie81610's Avatar

      When people ask what is wrong I tell them that I have chronic cancer so just compare me to someone who has diabetes. I tell them it is something I will be treated for for the rest of my life. Then they ask how long do I have? Who knows how long I have how long does anyone have? But you had surgery aren't you better. Yes I'm better but there really isn't a cure for the type I have once it got so far and decided to take a trip through my body so now I'm chronic and I leave it at that.
      I really think we should just call each other FRIENDS with benefits that we all have something in common to talk about if we would like. Shhwee don't feel bad I try to look for humor in everything anymore might as well smile instead of frown.. Hope everyone is having a good day.
      Hugs to all!!

      over 4 years ago
    • pakb56's Avatar

      Well said Leepenn and Susie! Those were my thoughts as well. Why do we have to have a label?

      over 4 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      Cancer does not define who I am. Therefore I feel I am still me...before cancer...just having to deal and have my body fight through treatment. I feel that I am being treated for it, just like anyone would be treated for another ailment. Yes the word "cancer" strikes fear and concern when heard but all of us going through cancer treatment and surgery are fighters...and hopefully survivors. We refuse to stop living because we have this "cancer" word in our lives now.

      over 4 years ago
    • shhwee's Avatar

      Wow. Way to blow a simple statement out of proportion!
      The whole point of this was to take a not so serious approach to this serious diagnosis. Don't know about you people, but I prefer to not be so uptight all the time.
      I'll keep my sense of humor to my friends and family since obviously it isn't understood, let alone welcome here.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      Hey shhwee, don't take the responses the wrong way. The issue with electronic conversations is that we all infer a tone, which might not be there. You asked our opinions on what to call our fellow cancer friends and we all responded our thoughts or what we like to be called... i don't think anyone's response implied it was taken out of proportion. I think its great to hear what other people think. It's a-ok if you like to say 'the infected' in the way you mean it.

      This just goes to show that we all think of our illness differently. It probably depends on our experience, our treatment, our prognosis. I try to laugh at all of the side effects of chemo even though they aren't really a laughing matter. Sometimes a sense of humor is the most important drug in our fight.

      Please keep posting and remember that electronic communications do not come with tone, sometimes we assume tone, which could depend on our mood. I, for one, appreciated your question as well as all of the responses!

      over 4 years ago
    • markmather's Avatar

      Hi everyone! The idea of being a "survivor" has been really interesting in my life. Check out my blog ! http://www.markmather.org/
      You will survive to thrive.

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Shhwee - yeah - don't take it personally please! I totally DON'T agree that calling us "the infected" is funny... But so what? We all have different opinions... and friends... and senses of humor... And that is a GOOD THING!

      It was a good question to pose - in my mind, a lot of people THOUGHT about what you had to say... and then weighed in with opinions...

      I happen to have a very literal child... and if someone said we were "the infected" - he would TOTALLY MISS the humor part and just take it seriously.... So that was my perspective. In no way does that mean that I think your comment was not welcome.

      Just the opposite, actually. A comment that makes me think? LOVE IT. And a true sign of something well posed on a website like this one is RESPONSES - and you got a load of them! What does this say to me? It says that people were INTERESTED in what you had to say... So, Shhwee - keep them coming!

      over 4 years ago
    • pigeon's Avatar

      I enjoyed all of the answers. Great question because it caused us to focus on the "light side" for a change. I'm beginning to realize that for the rest of my life I will have to have some form of treatment. Fourth chemo coming up after going thru three hormones for bone mets. Another hormone in his "back pocket" if needed. Guess my thinking is in a constant changing mode because I'm really beginning to view cancer as a battle. Fighter - yes! Humor, I love it...

      over 4 years ago
    • shhwee's Avatar

      Thank you... I'm sorry I took the responses in such bad light. You guys are right, seeing other opinions is a good way to get yourself to think.
      I really am sincerely sorry if it offended anyone, I honest to God didn't mean for it to. And obviously, I would never refer to us as The Infected in front of a kiddo, or anyone who would take it wrongly. Really I don't take much in my life very seriously. I even hissed at my nurse with fake vampire teeth when I got a blood transfusion once!
      Again... I am SO sorry...
      Thank you Bashiemn, Leepenn. and pigeon!

      over 4 years ago
    • LoriK's Avatar

      For me, we are warriors! Plain and simple.

      over 4 years ago
    • sbmontgomery's Avatar

      When I found out that I had brain cancer the one decision I made was to not be labeled. How about no labels. Every morning I wake up and tell myself that I AM SUZANNE. I will not be labeled. Besides, everyone in this world whether they are ill or not are survivors. Waking up in the morning means they survived another day too.

      over 4 years ago
    • Effiemae's Avatar

      I was a little taken aback that someone, even in jest, would refer to us as "The Infected." That is some pretty black humor and as far from the truth as any statement I have heard yet. We are human beings who for some reason have been singled out to meet this challenge, and whether it was a genetic fluke of nature or God's choice to test our determination and courage, we have it and we have to deal with it every single day of our lives. I am not infected. If I had AIDs I would be infected, but I would still fight with every resource I had. Maybe you ought to find some humorous reading material or look for some inspirational literature that will give you a brighter outlook towards the future.

      about 4 years ago
    • lettieanne's Avatar

      I call my METAvivor gals my BREASTIES!

      about 4 years ago
    • prettyradical's Avatar

      I call us.....CANCER WARRIORS!!!!!!

      about 4 years ago
    • theresarae's Avatar

      I feel like we belong to an Elite club, like a country club that you can only get in because you are special. That works for me. :)

      about 4 years ago
    • BuffalloFan's Avatar

      Friends, brothers and sisters. I personal would not be happy if someone called me the Infected, because that was slang that people used during the AIDS epidemic. We are survivors and fighters!

      about 4 years ago
    • Reel's Avatar

      My cancer isn't curable and after two more radioactive iodine treatments, I will no longer have any more treatments. There is so little I'm able to do, I don't feel like much of a fighter. In the long run I know I won't be a survivor. So I just see myself as a regular guy who always has to tell people how he is feeling. I call others with cancer "friend." They are because they have been on that same road that we never expected to travel.

      about 4 years ago
    • Bellamore's Avatar

      I am a Warrior! My cancer is terminal, I will not survive it. But I will battle til my last breath. I just need a battle cry, what did Kathy Bates use in Friend Green Tomatoes?. That always struck me as pretty right on. But I can't remember it (chemo brain).

      about 4 years ago
    • letlifehappen's Avatar

      I am a "surthriver".

      almost 4 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      I believe at some level that they catch our cancrer...

      6 months ago

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